WebSockets in World of Blockchain

3 min readAug 4, 2020

WebSockets have played a monumental role in real-time internet-based communication. But it wasn’t available a few years ago. So, was it possible to communicate over the internet in real-time before WebSockets? It sure was. But it was a tedious task in itself. The speed was nothing to boast about. The real-time internet could only be achieved by hacking web technologies. But web technologies of those times weren’t suitable to work in real-time.

In 2008, the developer community started realizing the limitation of Comet. They found that using Comet to develop something truly robust was pretty difficult. It was particularly noticed that Ian Hickson and Michael Carter. They decided to take the matters in their own hands to do something about it. Soon, they collaborated to introduce “WebSocket” to the world.

What is WebSockets?

Web sockets help set a real-time communication channel between servers and clients. It means that both parties can communicate in real-time through web sockets. One can also refer to WebSockets as the next evolution in the client/server web technology. It has brought desktop-level technology to web browsers.

WebSockets in Blockchain

Generally, blockchain apps use the WebSocket protocol to push notifications in real-time. Through WebSocket protocol, blockchain applications allow its users to send data in real-time. This functionality can be used by users through browsers as well as web apps.

Web socket is different from HTTP. A Web Socket allows both the server and client apps to push data to each other in real-time. In contrast, HTTP is based on the protocol of request-response. It makes the WebSocket protocol a perfect choice for various blockchain applications.

There’s one thing common among all blockchain applications using WebSockets. There’s always a device or a server if we speak in full-on technical terms. It sends a notification in real-time to a user to inform them about something important. The notification can be about an event or a trade or something similar.

WebSockets — Blockchain Use Cases

A developer can use WebSocket protocol for various purposes such as in multiplayer online games, chat applications, online multiplayer games, and many similar blockchain-based applications. WebSockets can also be implemented to transmit real-time notifications about live trading, auctions, and sports-related live coverage.

Let’s explore some examples of web sockets in the blockchain. A company offers an option to trade various cryptocurrencies on its trading platform. The WebSocket will allow this cryptocurrency exchange to send a notification to all its app users in real-time. The notification can be about a price rise or drop in real-time, or a short-term offer. It can be any real-time information that the cryptocurrency exchange wants to share with its users.

A broadcast can also be initiated by a server. The server can broadcast the information from one blockchain node to another. So, what’s the good thing about WebSocket? Well for the starters, it doesn’t need any data request from the client to push a notification.

How Does WebSockets Work?

The data overhead is quite low with WebSockets. It is not more than a couple of bytes. A WebSocket object is suitable for use across all browsers. It is because WebSocket helps create and manage a connection between a socket and the server.

Initially, the browser connects with a server through a regular HTTP connection. But soon after your application requests for an upgrade in connection. This request specifies the URL of the server which can support the WebSocket connection. Now, there is no need for HTTP as the communication goes on without it.

NOWNodes — A WebSockets Provider

Are you looking for a way to access different nodes through RPC? Do you want this access to be fast, simple, and secure? Head over to NOWNodes for it. They ensure 24/7 availability and relevance through round the clock surveillance and monitoring of your nodes.

NOWNodes also offers WebSockets to its customers. Currently, we are providing WebSockets for BTC and KMD. But at NOWNodes we can also prepare a custom WebSockets for any blockchain network presented in NOWNodes.